United Nations Department of Global Communications
2019 Holocaust Remembrance Calendar of Events
“Holocaust Remembrance: Demand and Defend Your Human Rights”
The theme of the Holocaust remembrance and education activities this year is “Holocaust Remembrance: Demand and Defend Your Human Rights”. This theme encourages youth to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust, act against discrimination and defend democratic values in their communities, at a time when the spread of Neo-Nazism and hate groups fuels the rising antisemitism and other forms of hatred around the world. The theme highlights the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Monday, 28 January 2019
United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony
General Assembly Hall
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
The ceremony was hosted by Ms. Alison Smale, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. The event included remarks by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the seventy-third session of the General Assembly; H.E. Mr. Danny Danon, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Jonathan R. Cohen, Chargé d’Affaires, United States Mission to the United Nations; Ambassador Sandro De Bernardin, the Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Ms. Sara J. Bloomfield, Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum served as the keynote speaker. Ms. Bloomfield has led the Museum for 18 years, working to build a global institution that raises Holocaust awareness, deepens understanding of the lessons of the Holocaust, confronts denial, and advances genocide prevention. Mr. Marian Turski, Chair of the Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Deputy Chair of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, journalist and recipient of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, shared his testimony as a survivor of the Holocaust. Ms. Inge Auerbacher shared her account as a child survivor of Teresienstadt. Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky of the Park East Synagogue recited the memorial prayers. The ceremony included musical elements performed by the PS22 Chorus.
Monday, 28 January 2019
- Exhibition Opening Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations
Venue: United Nations Visitors Lobby
Time: 1:15 p.m. – 2.30 p.m.
This exhibition relates the unique stories of diplomats recognized by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, as Righteous Among the Nations. During the Holocaust, these diplomats recognized the danger and murder facing the Jews in the countries in which they served, at the hands of the Nazi Germans, with the help of their accomplices and allies. They chose to act according to their conscience, and tried to save as many Jewish men, women and children as possible, mainly by providing them with passports, visas and travel permits. The exhibition is sponsored by Permanent Missions of Israel, Peru and Portugal to the United Nations. Secretary-General will make opening remarks and Stéphane Dujarric will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. The exhibition will be on view until 25 February 2019.
Monday, 28 January 2019
India: A Distant Haven During the Holocaust
Venue: Conference Room 2
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
B'nai B'rith International and the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations hosted the presentation on a lesser-known chapter in the history of the Holocaust: the haven found in India by a number of Jewish refugees who fled from Europe. Author and expert on India's Jewish community Dr. Kenneth X. Robbins discussed the Jews who were able to flee Nazism in India. Stephen Tauber, who was an Austrian Jewish refugee in India, shared his family’s story.
Exhibition Opening Bracha. A Blessing. Back to Polish Shtetls.
Venue: United Nations Headquarters Conference Building – South Wall
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
This photographic exhibition brings to us images of a world that survived the Holocaust, despite the attempts of the German Nazis and their accomplices to annihilate Jewish communities, peoples and culture. The photographs of Polish documentary producer and photographer Ms. Agnieszka Traczewska, document the journeys of the descendants of Jews who once lived in the Polish territories, to the remains of Jewish heritage in Poland: the synagogues, graveyards and the graves of Tzadikim. The event is organized by the Permanent Mission of Poland to the United Nations, in cooperation with the Consulate General of Poland in New York. The exhibition will be on view until 1 February 2019.
Tuesday, 29 January 2019
- Meet the Author Event: Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom by Ariel Burger
Venue: United Nations Bookshop, GA Building, Visitors’ Concourse
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Ariel Burger is a writer, artist, teacher, and rabbi whose work combines spirituality, creativity, and strategies for social change. In his profoundly thought-provoking and inspiring book, Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom, Burger gives us a front-row seat to Wiesel’s remarkable exchanges in and out of the classroom, and chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over the decades as Burger sought counsel on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith, while navigating his own personal journey from boyhood to manhood, from student and assistant, to rabbi and, in time, teacher. Dr. Eva Fogelman, psychologist, filmmaker and author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book titled Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, led an interactive discussion with Mr. Burger at the event.
- Exhibition opening Lives Cut Short- Seeking Refuge During the Holocaust: The Short Life of Ruth Maier
Venue: United Nations Visitors Lobby
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Through photographs and diary extracts, this exhibition tells the story of Ruth Maier. Born in Vienna in 1920, Ruth began keeping a diary when she turned 13. She recorded her everyday life, and the increasing persecution of Jews after the “Anschluss” of 1938. Ruth witnessed the violent antisemitism of the November Pogrom, 1938. Forced to flee Austria, Ruth found refuge in Norway. In Norway she completed her schooling and revealed her talents in drawing, painting and writing. She shared her thoughts about life in occupied Norway, her love and poetry in her diaries but now she wrote in her new language, Norwegian. However, she could not escape antisemitism or the reach of the Nazis. In 1942 Ruth was arrested in front of her friends and deported from Nazi-occupied Norway to Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945). The Nazis murdered Ruth on 1 December 1942. Since 2014 Ruth Maier’s diaries have been part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, secured at The Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies. The exhibition is jointly sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Austria and Norway to the United Nations. The exhibition will be on view until 26 February 2019.
Photo: Ruth Maier‘s diaries from September 1937 to December 1937, and January 1942 to November 1942.
Credit: The Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies, Oslo
Wednesday, 30 January 2019
Film Screening Who Will Write Our History
Venue: Conference Room 4
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 350,000 Jewish men, women and children in the Warsaw Ghetto, historian Emanuel Ringelblum began to develop a secret archive of the ordeal facing those imprisoned by the Nazis in the Ghetto and the new arrivals, who shared their stories of deportation and murder. The core group of archivists was comprised of journalists, scholars and community leaders and was known by the code name Oyneg Shabes. The group buried the archive, most of which was discovered after the Second World War. The archive remains a powerful example of resistance and a heroic attempt to safeguard Jewish heritage and culture. This film integrates the writings of the contributors to the archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage and dramatizations to show the risk the group was willing to take to preserve their history. The event was organized with support from American Jewish Committee’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights. Invited speakers include Ms. Nancy Spielberg, Executive Producer; Ms. Roberta Grossman, writer, film director and producer; Professor Samuel Kassow, historian and author of the book Who will write our history?; and Ms. Felice Gaer, Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, American Jewish Committee. Following the screening, Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division, moderated a discussion with Ms. Nancy Spielberg, Ms. Roberta Grossman, and Professor Samuel Kassow.
Thursday, 31 January 2019
- United Nations Civil Society Briefing A Matter of Humanity: The Rescue of Jews in Albania during the Holocaust
Venue: Conference Room 1
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Albania’s response to the plight of Jewish people during the Holocaust remains a powerful example of compassion in the face of Nazi brutality. The Department of Global Communications, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Albania to the United Nations, organized a multi-media programme to build awareness and appreciation of the acts of rescue by Albanians, of Jewish people during the Holocaust. Speakers included the H.E. Ms. Besiana Kadare, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Albania to the United Nations; Ambassador Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress; Ms. Majlinda Myrto, Executive Director of the “Eye Contact Foundation”, Dr. Anna Kohen, whose family was rescued in Albania during the Holocaust, Mr. David Estrin, Founder of the youth organization “Together We Remember”, and Mr. Robert Singer, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress.
Photo: A Jewish mother and child in hiding in Albania sit on a wooden ledge together with their rescuer and her family, Circa 1941-1942.
Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Johanna Neumann
- Film screening The Story of Lina Amato
Venue: Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Permanent Mission of Turkey is inviting all to the screening of the documentary “The Story of Lina Amato” on Thursday, 31 January 2019 at the Turkish Mission. Filmmaker, Jonathan Andrews, presents the true story of Lina Kantor (Amato), one of the few remaining survivors of the Holocaust now residing in Cape Town, South Africa. This extraordinary documentary film explores the rare account of how interventions of the Turkish Consul-General on Rhodes Island in Greece, Selahattin Ülkümen, saved 42 Jews from deportation by the Nazis to Auschwitz during July 1944 – World War II. Lina speaks from the heart as she guides viewers through the history of her time spent on Rhodes Island as a child, and how her family was saved through the efforts of Selahattin Ülkümen. Yad Vashem ultimately recognised him as “Righteous Among the Nations” in 1989. The Story of Lina Amato is an honest and unforgettable fragment of history in commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day – 27 January.